Artist Statement - Stewart Nicol Soutar (August 2016)
My work progresses in successive groups... sequences... a 'concatenation', if you like.
The series may be seen as an odyssey or a kind of cyclical reaction, all connected but modified by time and place. Old subjects may then be re-imagined and re-stated with a different or modified attack.
Each stage in the development of the work has it's own questions to ask or points to make; the paintings are worked in phases and progress level by level, often deconstructed or scraped back to reveal areas of underpainting as elements of reference and/or contrast to create an ultimate revelation in the finished piece.
I involve the abstract with familiar imagery and relationships; there is an invitation to open the gates and quietly suggest the spectator begin a new journey or perhaps continue their own journey from a new and refreshed position.
It's a curious dance and I ask that the viewer of the work might possibly move their traditional standpoint a little, to reconsider, to let go of the defences for a while. To let the work take them to another place: To become a partner in the dance.